Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

The Best Ways to Rid Acne

The Best Ways to Rid Acne

Acne is an embarrassing and stubborn problem. If you suffer from acne, you may find it particularly frustrating to wade through all of the gimmicks and ineffective treatments to find a treatment that works. Fortunately, there are a few treatments that have been proven effective for treating acne. With any acne treatment program, the best way to start is to speak to a dermatologist about your treatment options.

Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is the primary acne-fighting ingredient in many drugstore acne products. Acne cleansers and creams commonly contain benzoyl peroxide because of its longstanding reputation for effectiveness in fighting mild acne. Benzoyl peroxide effectively helps unclog pores and dries up excess oil. Additionally, it reduces the population of P. acnes bacteria on the skin. Look for products containing benzoyl peroxide in concentrations of 2.5 to 10 percent. If you have sensitive or dry skin, look for concentrations closer to 2.5 percent and use the product only once or twice daily. Excessive dryness of the skin may occur with benzoyl peroxide use, particularly in higher concentrations or when used too frequently.

Topical Retinoids

If over-the-counter treatments don't produce the desired results, your doctor may prescribe topical retinoids as part of a comprehensive treatment program. Topical retinoids are derived from vitamin A. They typically come in cream or gel form and treat acne by unclogging congested pores and preventing new clogs. With topical retinoid treatment, your acne may become worse before it gets better due to the medication bringing hidden blemishes to the surface. This is a part of the treatment process and isn't a reason to discontinue the medication. Skin irritation, dryness, redness and peeling may occur at the start of treatment and will likely subside as treatment progresses. Speak to your physician about any concerning effects.

Antibiotics

For moderate to moderately severe acne, your dermatologist may prescribe oral antibiotics in addition to topical therapies. According to the American Academy of Dermatology's AcneNet, antibiotics primarily treat acne by reducing the population of P. acnes bacteria, which also reduces inflammation. Treatment with antibiotics lasts up to six months. The downfall of antibiotic treatment is that bacteria occasionally becomes resistant to a particular antibiotic, warranting a change to a different type. Combining topical therapies with antibiotic therapy may prevent this from happening. Treatment with oral antibiotics has few side effects, with the primary complaint being gastrointestinal irritation.

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